We all know - or have been someone - who thinks the world is over when our hair gets a little greasy. You know those miracle hair oils that replenish our hair and scalps - what if a little oil (grease) is counted as a good thing and not a 'ugh, we've got to wash our hair again' moment.
If your hair is on the fine side, you're probably more aware of your hair getting greasy after 24 hours. Add to that trips to the gym, food and drink accidents and even getting caught in the rain - you're going to be finding excuses to washing your hair more often than your hairdresser recommends.
Many of us have fallen into a routine of making hair washing fit around our own schedule (c'mon, we all save it until the night before a night out, don't we?) instead of thinking about what our beloved hair and scalp are feeling. So, with the help of some experts and extensive research, let us get to the bottom of the age old question: how often should you wash your hair?
And are we actually shampooing our hair properly?
How often should you wash your hair?
It really depends on what type of hair you were blessed with - we'll get to that later - but the general consensus is you should really wait two to three days in between washes to hold on to all the natural oils that keep our hair and scalp in the best condition it can be.
Celebrity and royal hair stylist and Roots Professional Ambassador, Inanch Emir, explains, "No, it’s not bad to wash your hair every day and it won’t cause any damage to your hair or scalp. However, it can strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils, some of which are good for your hair and help it to look and feel healthy and shiny and in turn, make your hair drier.
"There is no one size fits all rule to hair washing, you should generally wash your hair when you think it looks oily and feels dirty but you should take into consideration the type of hair you have."
Paul Percival, who founded Percy&Reed, agrees, adding, "Everyone’s hair and scalp is different, but ideally 3 times a week is more than enough.
"Unfortunately the more you wash your hair, the more of your scalp's natural oil, sebum is produced. This will then make your hair more greasy, and you will feel you need to wash it again. To break this cycle try to use great products like Percy & Reed Dry Shampoo (£15) to give your hair another wash free day."
How do you wash your hair?
Silly question, we hear you, but there's a lot more to washing hair than we think and it's definitely not a job that you should be overlooking or rushing.
Headmasters Colour Ambassador Sian Quinn has shared a step by step on how to wash your hair to result in healthier hair and we'll be forever thankful.
Step one is to oil the hair (Olaplex No 7 bonding oil £28) from the mid lengths to the ends prior to shampooing this step is key to adding moisture into the hair and preventing frizz.
Step two is creating a healthy scalp as this is the foundation for healthy hair. Exfoliating the scalp will remove product build up whilst also stimulating hair growth. Scalp exfoliation requires a gentle massage this will also help to release tension and muscles.
Step three is to wash hair correctly selecting the right water temperature is often a step that is overlooked. If water is to hot it will strip hair of natural oils whist also fading colour. Select lukewarm water and always shampoo twice. The first shampoo removes dirt and product build up whilst the second shampoo will treat and nourish hair. There is no need to scrub your hair when shampooing if you are scrubbing the strands this can lead to damage, tangles and breakage."
Step four before you apply a conditioner or mask use a microfibre towel to remove water this stops product becoming diluted.
Step five is all about aftercare, once you’ve finished washing the hair use the microfibre towel this step will cause less friction. Apply a heat protectant to the hair this will continue to protect the hair when styling.
Step six protection, sleeping with a silk pillowcase will prevent frizz and tangles in the hair.
Is it really bad to wash your hair every day?
When we asked Regrowz Trichologist Kevin Moore if washing everyday really is a cardinal sin, he told us, "Signs of over-washing your hair include an increase in split ends and excessive dandruff. There is really no need to wash your hair every day, washing weekly or even every other week might be enough for people. Washing your hair less often will help preserve the natural oils in the scalp and keep your hair well-moisturised.
"Washing your hair too much can lead to bacteria and excess oils. Find a great routine that works for your hair and finding the right shampoo is also key. Shampoo is designed to clean your hair and remove oil, dirt, and odour. It is necessary to clean your hair to keep it fresh and healthy."
"In my opinion, it is not necessarily ‘bad’ to wash your hair everyday but if you do feel it is necessary, then using something that’s kind and gentle is really important. Washing tends to also strip away natural oils and something which is not replenishing the much-needed nutrients can dry your hair out over time plus leaving a residue of unwanted ingredients to build up in the hair."
How do you stop washing your hair every day?
Jay Birmingham, who regularly works his magic on Maya Jama and Rochelle Humes' hair, says, "To stop washing your hair every day, you need to train your hair out of this cycle. In the beginning you will need to be prepared to go with it and accept that your hair will be a little greasy. Top tip – try to let your dry shampoo work overnight. Apply it to the roots of your hair and gently work in with your finger tips. Then leave it over night and wake up to the morning to refreshed hair."
He adds, "It’s definitely not advised to wash your hair every day. Washing your hair too much can disrupt your scalps natural balance. This can lead to it feeling sensitive and inflamed. You can also cause your hair to feel dry and a little brittle on the ends if you over wash it."
Top tip – try to let your dry shampoo work overnight. You'll wake up to refreshed hair.
What are the products or tips and tricks to get you started?
Jay shared his wonder product with us and insisted that dry shampoo really is your BFF, "You need to try a good quality dry shampoo and make sure you’re using it correctly.
"I love the Living Proof PhD Dry Shampoo (£17). It refreshes your hair, absorbs excess oil and leaves your hair without any residue. It refreshes your hair, absorbs excess oil and leaves your hair without any residue."
Samantha Cusick, professional hair stylist and brand ambassador for everyone's favourite dry shampoo brand Batiste, encourages us all to embrace our inner Hailey Bieber.
She says, "Embrace the greasy and use it to your advantage to create a Hailey Bieber approved slick back bun. If that’s not your vibe, Batiste Original Dry Shampoo will refresh your style between washes. Spray in at the roots and massage to revive your style. There is also the Batiste Overnight Deep Cleanse which I love – spray before you go to bed and wake up with fresh hair!"
It's worth bearing in mind that even though it is glorious, using dry shampoo too often or for extended periods could damage your hair and cause scalp problems.
Tips to stop washing your hair so much
Use a good shampoo that benefits your hair type, be it coloured, curly, fine, thick or dry. Duck&Dry have a range of amazing nourishing shampoos and conditioners for both thick and fine hair (£18-£20). Make washing your hair an event, so if you do splurge on a more pricey shampoo, you won't be able to wash it so much without having to buy more.
Use a rounded hairbrush with bristle tips and soft cushioning will gently stimulate your scalp leading it shinier and healthier hair. Regrowz bamboo hairbrush (£7.99) will do the job.
Try different styles like high ponytails or plaits to prevent hair washing.
Remember when you are shampooing that you are washing the scalp not the hair. The scalp is where the oils are produced that makes the hair appear dirty.
Don’t touch your hair too much. General hygiene reasons really AND it just transfers loads of gunk to our hair.
Ricky Walters, top London stylist and owner of Salon64, told us that when it comes to fine hair you need to be careful about conditioner.
"Do not over wash and do not over use conditioner. For hair prone to grease conditioner belongs on the ends of the hair only.
"Remember when shampooing you are washing the scalp not the hair. The scalp is where the oils are produced that makes the hair appear dirty."
For hair prone to grease conditioner belongs on the ends of the hair only.
Percy&Reed's Paul also has a great tip, "A good tip for when you are washing your hair is to make sure your hands are really wet in the shower, before you put shampoo in them and make sure it is foaming in your hand before you put it into your hair, that way you need less shampoo and it will foam easier.
"If your hair is really oily it's a good idea to do one quick wash first to get the oil out and you'll find in the second wash lathers really well."
Is it bad not to wash your hair at all?
"Yes, it is bad to not wash your hair", reveals Jay.
"You need to get the balance right for you. You don’t want to wash your hair every day but you don’t want to avoid washing either. You need to find what works for you. As a general rule, 2-3 times per week is usually best."
What are the benefits of double shampooing?
The benefits of double shampooing have been doing the rounds lately and if you're at the salon, they will more than often wash your hair twice. Love Island's Paige Thorne recently admitted to heat that she never washes her hair just the once.
Jay agrees, saying, "You can really cleanse and clarify your scalp when you double shampoo. You can remove any build up of styling products including your dry shampoo, your hair is really clean and it helps to go longer between washes if your scalp is super clean."
Ricky adds that it's important to figure out what 'type' of a shampoo your hair needs, "Before washing the hair, first asses just how dirty it really is. If washed recently and when running your hands through your hair it feels soft and pretty clean then just one light shampoo will only be needed.
"On the other hand if looking at your hair you feel it’s certainly time for a wash then two, far more vigorous shampoos will be needed."
Double shampooing breaks down oils and any product build up in the scalp, while the second wash gets rid of the dirt and leaves your hair feeling fresh and clean. It is best if you use a sulfate-free shampoo, also using natural products and hydrating shampoos.
How often to wash combination hair?
It's best to wash combination hair every two to three days with a mild clarifying shampoo.
If you have naturally oily hair, or you have a fringe, you'll probably want to wash your hair every two days. Alternatively, you could just shampoo your fringe.
How often to wash coarse hair?
No more than once a week. If you can go without washing for two to three weeks, your hair will thank you.
How often to wash curly hair?
Curly and afro hair loves a deep conditioner treatment and often requires a lot of TLC. Honestly, washing curly hair is a full-time job. First comes shampooing, then a good deep condition, followed by what feels like a lifetime of trying to gently detangle the hair.
How often to wash coloured hair?
If you want to keep your colour fresh and vibrant, try and only wash it two or three times a week. If you're a blondie, using silver shampoo occasionally should give it a boost. Not too often though, as silver shampoos are very powerful and tend to dry out the hair.
Paul says, "You can wash coloured hair as much as you need to, all the same rules apply, all i would say is make sure you are using something like the Percy & Reed Wonder Shampoo & Conditioner that has a colour lock in it which helps pigment of the colour stop escaping.'
Hair dyed red is famous for fading if you shampoo it too much.